The Lesson I Learned From My Dog


Our dog’s life is simple. He sleeps, eats and goes outside to run around. He’s definitely not as young anymore and he now enjoys the consistency of his simple life. At least he did until this week when that all changed.

This week my dog taught me a valuable lesson. The lesson: never give up.

It all started when I went to the backyard to bring him in the house. We have two adorable dogs, Cassie and Shaie. Cassie came right in, but Shaie would not budge. He was fixated on a particular spot toward the back of the yard. No matter how many times I called, he would not move. Finally, after coaxing him in with his favorite peanut butter dog cookies, I went out to investigate.

What had his attention that long? I could only imagine. We’ve had many things in our yard that have called for his attention.

Their dog toys – Frisbees, balls, and what not
Dead things – mice, birds, etc. I know it sounds terrible, but we also have cats. It happens.
A live turkey baby – That Shaie carefully carried to safety.
Fruit and nuts – From a neighbors tree

As I approached the back of the yard, I saw a huge hole in the ground under the fence. Seriously. A huge hole. Even though Shaie is big, he actually could have gotten through it.

Looking closer, I could see it was filled with a big piece of concrete. I guess the neighbors behind us put it there. Good thing because trust me, given the chance, he would have gone right through the hole. He has always been a free spirit runner. Anyways I came I saw I checked. Problem solved. He can’t get out and he will get over it. Right?

The next day he was back at that spot. Concentrating and obsessing about getting through that hole. He just sat there staring at it. I just imagined him making plans and formulating ways to get out. After what seemed like forever, I broke out the peanut butter treats once again to get him in.

Next day, the same thing. Again and again. Day after day. More obsessing. More planning.

I barely let him out the door and he would rush straight to that corner. What is with this? Why doesn’t he just give up? Why does he keep trying and trying?

He keeps trying because he doesn’t believe in giving up.

I saw this huge piece of concrete that he could never move or get around.

What I saw was a big obstacle.  What he saw was opportunity.


I realized it doesn’t matter how I saw it. I may think he will never get through. I might have given up by now. But not him. Not Shaie. He believes he will get out. He is trying to figure out a plan that works for him.

Watching him, I got to see his never give up attitude. What seems like an obstacle to one person (or dog) may seem like an opportunity to another. He had a passion, a dream, a determination to get through that hole. Even if I fully think he would not, he did not give up. He did not let my negative thoughts stop him. He taught me the important lesson to never give up. A lesson we all know but forget. When things get tough or we think we can’t, we forget to keep trying.



Never give up your dreams. Never give up on your passions. Don’t let obstacles get in your way. If it seems too big or seems impossible, find a different way. Shaie was determined and he never gave up. The big block of concrete did not stop his dreams. He found a new way. He started digging a new hole next to the concrete.

Take this lesson from my dog Shaie. NEVER GIVE UP!

– NBL V –


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